How is Lichen Planus (LP) Treated?

If you have open sores in your vestibule with burning or soreness, you could be suffering from a condition known as lichen planus.  Lichen planus sometimes goes away without medical intervention, but if it does not, it’s essential to seek treatment to prevent it from progressing. It is often present on the oral mucosa before the vaginal mucosa so if you have known oral LP and develop vaginal symptoms then this entity may be the culprit.

What Is Lichen Planus?

Lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that affects the vulva (skin around the opening of the vagina).  Characteristics of lichen planus on physical exam in addition to superficial ulcerations is a lacy white pattern on the vaginal mucosa. Lichen planus affects women of all ages but is frequent among post-menopausal women.

Lichen Planus

How Is Lichen Planus Diagnosed?

A gynecologist can usually diagnose lichen planus by examining the characteristic appearance  on the vulva, and asking about other symptoms, but in most cases, a biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. 

How Is Lichen Planus Treated?

Lichen planus is not a curable condition, but it can be effectively managed.  Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition.    Severe cases of lichen planus are usually treated with a high potency topical corticosteroid cream. 

The application of corticosteroid cream to the vulva provides relief from itching and other symptoms of lichen planus, and prevents the condition from getting worse.  However, doctors usually recommend low dose corticosteroids for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of lichen planus. As important to treating the vulva, it’s most important to access if the vagina needs to be treated.

Are you struggling with vaginal issues that doctors have been unable to diagnose?  Contact the experts in vaginal care at Fowler GYN International (FGI), Phoenix, AZ for a consultation.   It was established by Emeritus Mayo Clinic physician, board-certified gynecologist Dr. R. Stuart Fowler. You can reach them at , or by calling (480) 420-4001.  

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